Couchbase 4.0 review: The Swiss Army knife of NoSQL

Hybrid document-oriented, key-value database brings easy, ad hoc queries into the mix with a SQL-like query language

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Couchbase Server, similar to MongoDB and RethinkDB, is a document-oriented distributed database, but that description sells it a good deal short. Couchbase is what you get when a distributed key-value store and a document database join forces -- literally.

With direct and immediate ties to both Membase and CouchDB, Couchbase Server takes the best of both worlds and jams them into a single product. It's even added structured queries to the mix. With the recent release of version 4.0, the open source database takes a big leap forward in usability with the introduction of the SQL-like N1QL query language.

Understanding persistence in Couchbase is much easier if you approach it as a key-value store than as a document database. With a key-value store, it’s obvious that in order to store and retrieve a value, you also need to provide a key. It’s also obvious that the key doesn’t have to be repeated somewhere inside the value you’re storing. However, if you’re coming from a document database like MongoDB, it may seem strange to pull the unique identifier out of the object in order to store it.

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